In This Review

Diasporas and Development: Exploring the Potential
Diasporas and Development: Exploring the Potential
By Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff, ed
Lynne Rienner, 2008, 270 pp

Extensive emigration today produces diasporas whose members, with modern technology, can readily communicate with one another and with their home regions. Some emigrants leave home because of a distaste for the governing elites, others because of the superior economic opportunities elsewhere. Some wish to sever their contacts with their countries of birth, some long to return, and most wish to maintain contact with relatives and friends. Increasingly, diasporas are organizing to help economic and even political development in their countries of origin -- through philanthropy, through business investment, and even (particularly in postconflict settings) by returning to take up positions in government. This book usefully explores this trend. It draws mainly on the experiences of emigrants from Afghanistan, Armenia, Dominica, Iraq, Liberia, and Morocco, but it also draws on a modest but rapidly growing literature on other emigrant groups. It oªers a much richer view of the possibilities than the more traditional emphasis on brain drains versus remittances.